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Trump says Saudi-led fund to invest $50 bln in US to create 50,000 jobs

SoftBank’s Son makes funding pledge, Foxconn eyes US expansion as president-elect woos Asian firms

Published: Updated:

Two of Asia’s biggest technology companies, one of them being the Saudi-funded SoftBank said they were looking to expand investment in the United States, as President-elect Donald Trump pushes to bring manufacturing and jobs back home.

Billionaire businessman Masayoshi Son, also the head of Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, pledged a $50 billion investment in the United States, and Apple Inc supplier Foxconn said it was in preliminary discussions to expand its US operations.

The $50 billion investment, announced jointly by Trump and Son in the lobby of the Trump Tower in Manhattan, would come from the $100 billion tech investment fund the head of SoftBank is setting up with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund and other potential partners, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Son said on Tuesday, after meeting Trump, his investment would create 50,000 new jobs, a move the US President-elect claimed was a direct result of his election win.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is Masa from SoftBank of Japan, and he’s just agreed to invest $50 billion in the United States and 50,000 jobs,” Trump said.

“He would never do this had we (Trump) not won the election!” Trump later Tweeted.

Son, who wore a red tie and red sweater under his suit jacket, told reporters his company, a $68 billion telecommunications and tech investment behemoth, would create the jobs by investing in startup companies.

He also said he expected a lot of “deregulation” under a Trump administration.

Trump and Son did not give a timeline for the investment. Trump’s four-year term will begin after his Jan. 20 inauguration.

Foxconn statement

Son’s business partner Foxconn issued a brief statement after a report by broadcaster CNBC showing a snapshot of a page held by Son outlining the investment carrying the logos of SoftBank and the Taiwanese firm, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.

The page also showed an additional $7 billion investment and creation of a further 50,000 jobs.

“While the scope of the potential investment has not been determined, we will announce the details of any plans following the completion of direct discussions between our leadership and the relevant US officials,” the Foxconn statement said.

Son and Foxconn founder Terry Gou are considered close and have several business ventures together, including launching humanoid Pepper - which is manufactured by Foxconn - into several markets, and investing jointly in India.

Foxconn has manufacturing facilities in the U.S. states of Virginia and Indiana, according to its website. Its 2015 annual report also listed logistics services in California and Texas.